South Africa

Classic Cape & Garden Route

This classic tour takes you from Cape Town, one of the world’s great cities, along the dramatic and spectacular scenery of the Garden Route. This is a wonderfully varied region encompassing picturesque rolling winelands, stark semi desert and a rocky coastline dotted with gorgeous beaches. There are vineyards, safari parks, endless adventure activities and a wonderful range of accommodation making this an ideal family tour.

This whole itinerary is malaria free.

Highlights

  Sunset from Table Mountain
  Explore South Africa’s Winelands
  Whale watching in Hermanus
  Meet the meerkats in Oudsthoorn
  Zip-lining in Tsitsikamma
  Big-five in Addo Elephant Park

14 days from £1,500 pp

Plus international flights from £600

A two-week self-drive holiday along the Garden Route in South Africa usually costs from £6,000 plus flights for a family of four.

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Classic Cape & Garden Route day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Cape Town
When you arrive at the airport you will be met by a Stubborn Mule Travel representative and transferred to your hotel.

This stunningly scenic city is snugly situated at the tip of the Africa, its busy harbour port and rugged mountainous terrain all surrounded by the expansive sparkle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s hard not to be impressed by Cape Town’s gorgeous beaches, award winning vineyards, its trendy city centre and of course the newest addition to the World’s Natural Wonders, Table Mountain. Beneath this iconic landmark lie a multitude of culinary delights, ambient cafes and restaurants, African craft markets, compelling museums, art galleries and a vibrant nightlife.


Day 2 The Cape Peninsula
You will spend the day exploring the Cape Peninsula. Leaving Cape Town follow the scenic Cape Point Route, a circular route that hugs the Atlantic coast road out to Cape Point (past pretty beaches and fishing villages) and the False Bay coastline back (past the penguin breeding colony).

Cape Point itself is a highlight, the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and home to a national park that provides an ideal opportunity to view first-hand the magnificent Fynbos vegetation, birdlife, endemic antelope species and zebra, historic lighthouses and shipwrecks.

You will also visit the African Penguin Breeding Colony. You can get really close to the Penguins by strolling along the wooden boardwalks that thread through the dense vegetation, over the dunes and round Foxy Beach – with such a beautiful setting and ever-obliging birds you’re sure to get some great photos. In summer months make sure you have a swimming costume so you can cool off with a penguin, snorkel, or just sit on this Blue Flag beach and admire the view


Day 3 Cape Town
Today you have a full free day to explore Cape Town. There is so much to choose from but some of our favourites include surfing lessons, climbing up Table Mountain (or mountain biking around the foothills), a visit to Robben Island, visiting a township or just wandering around the pretty harbour.


Day 4 Winelands
Today we recommend a day trip to the winelands of Constantia, just 15km out of the city but a world away. Here the rolling vineyards are set against the dramatic backdrop of the Table Mountain National Park and the scenery is sublime. Find a farmer’s market where you can stock up on tasty local specialities and then set off for a walk through the vineyards, stopping for a picnic with views to die for. You could also take part in a wine tasting (perhaps add in the chocolate tasting offered by some vineyards to make this more child-friendly), join a Cape Malay cookery class, enjoy a concert at the botanical gardens or an open-air Shakespeare play.

Later return to Cape Town for the night… perhaps for sunset from the top of Table Mountain?


Day 5 Stellenbosch
Today you leave Cape Town behind you, perhaps stopping by the cheetah outreach programme at the Spier Estate before arriving in Stellenbosch. This scenic old university town is in the heart of winelands so wine-lovers may find it difficult to stop from dropping into a winery or three. The children will enjoy a picnic lunch in the botanical gardens, an ice-cream in the famous Cold-Gold ice-cream parlour, a bike ride into the surrounding countryside or perhaps a waterfall hike to picturesque Jonkershoek nature reserve.

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Day 6 Franschhoek & Hermanus
First stop today is the French Huguenot town of Franschhoek, situated in a pretty location against a backdrop of hills and wine estates. Famous for its sensational food, stock up on delicious treats in one of the many farm shops and wander along the pretty streets with their whitewashed Cape Dutch cottages.

Later travel over the Franschhoek Pass through Elgin Apple country to Hermanus on the Cape Whale Coast.


Day 7 Hermanus
Hermanus offers some of the best shore-based whale-watching opportunities in the world (July to November) and you can witness the giant southern right and humpback whales from Hermanus’ shoreline and cliffs. You can also take a boat ride in the bay where you may see seals, dolphins and penguins in addition to whales.

There is also plenty of time to explore this vibrant town, visiting the local market and museums and enjoying the laid back vibe. Tonight perhaps head out for dinner at a restaurant near the waterfront.


Day 8 Oudtshoorn & Cango Caves
After travelling along the famous Route 62, an attraction in itself, arrive at the ‘ostrich capital of the world’, Oudtshoorn. Visit a local ostrich farm, where the children will love being able to ride this large native African bird (or watch the handlers race them along a dirt track). In the afternoon explore the famous Cango Caves on a guided tour and crawl inside this stunning underground landscape beneath the Swartberg foothills. Known for its fascinating cavernous spaces, dripping rocks and rising columns of calcite this is a great adventure for families.


Day 9 Oudtshoorn & The Klein Karoo
This morning rise early and head out into the bush to witness a population of wild habituated meerkats start their day. As the first rays of the sun hit the burrow the ‘sentinel’ emerges, soaks up the warmth and scans the horizon to ensure that it is safe. If it is then she will start to ‘chirrup’ and the rest of the troop will slowly emerge, start their morning ablutions and dig for grubs.

Later this morning take a picturesque drive along a backroad through the red stone hills of the Swartberg Mountain to experience the real Klein Karoo. Have a late lunch in Calitzdorp and get out into the wild on horseback or mountain bike.


Day 10 The Garden Route – Knysna
Continue along the Garden Route to the ‘oyster capital’ of Knysna, a bohemian town built on the northern shores of a warm water estuary fed by the Knysna River. Head straight to the waterfront and board a ferry, which will transport you to the Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Knysna Lagoon. Here you can walk through the milkwood forest and along dramatic sandstone cliffs before stopping for lunch at a waterfront restaurant – Knysna oysters are reputedly among the tastiest in the world.

Later continue onwards through Plettenberg Bay to Tsitsikamma National Park.


Day 11 Tsitsikamma
You have a full day of adventure in Tsitsikamma National Park, an expansive coastal reserve on the Garden Route known for its indigenous forests, dramatic coastline and the Storms River Mouth. Choose from zip-lining through the forest canopy, kayaking (or ‘lilo-ing’) along the Storms River, mountain biking, hiking or horse-riding. After an adrenalin-fuelled morning, perhaps take an afternoon boat ride into the inaccessible Storms River Gorge. Along the gorge you will find huge caverns which are home to a number of rare bat species and cascades of mini waterfalls that flow freely along the rock overhangs and down into a lush fern forest. Sightings of resident fish eagles are also common in this stunning area.


Day 12 Addo National Park
Today travel to the Addo Elephant National Park, originally founded in 1931 by South African born entomologist and naturalist, Sydney Skaife to provide sanctuary for the eleven remaining elephants in the area. After years of successful conservation and breeding, the park now supports over 600 elephants and large number of mammals such the Cape buffalo, endangered black rhino, lion and spotted hyenas. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in the park.


Day 13 Addo National Park
Set out on a morning self-guided nature walk of the Zuurburg Mountains, a beautiful route that leads through the fynbos with dramatic views of the mountains. You can stop along the way to swim in a beautiful natural pool and listen to the calls of the African emerald cuckoos and forest weavers.

This afternoon take a safari drive in the Schotia Lion Reserve where you are pretty much guaranteed to see these big cats, together with rhino, hippo and giraffe.


Day 14 Port Elizabeth
This morning a short drive takes you to Port Elizabeth where the tour ends. From here there are regular flights on to Johannesburg and other South African destinations.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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